The Best Looking Worst Rifle

MK14 EBR was the rifle that kicked me over the edge into modern (for the time) GWOT weapon nerddom. I was a fan instantly and ate up everything I could about why it was the best at being the best modernized battle rifle that had ever battled riflely.

This ignored, out of ignorance, all the obvious copium that the SAGE chassis built into fixing the M14 rifle’s deficiencies. The EBR was futuristic looking and could be festooned with the latest and greatest war fighting gadgetry, however it became heavy as sin and was only marginally accurate if you messed with any of the carefully tuned torque sets the chassis needs to function well.

Torque isn’t new in firearms, the AR has several places where torque is important. The M14 unfortunately has several more which need a great deal more attention. More attention means more maintenance. We accepted this because, until we started pushing the MK17 and the M110, we didn’t have a great 7.62 solution to field in mass at the squad and team level. But we had M14’s and we had CNC machine equipped companies willing to put them into new chassis.

The EBR looks fantastic. It is one of the most aesthetically pleasing rifles to come out of the GWOT era. It looks mean, efficient, a masterpiece of delivering the hatred and discontent to the American enemy… you could almost overlook the fact that it was a moody rock and lock magazine, heavy, and mediocrely accurate rifle. It sent a larger round than the M16, but not more accurately. It was a railed out black clad cold war battle rifle brought into the 21st century.

It worked.. okay. It was the best we had at the time that we could get where we needed, and sometimes that is good enough. Compared to what Russia is running their troops with to Ukraine it is downright top of the line (I’ve seen the rusty AKs and Mosins… oof) and the M14’s were not known for failing to shoot, it was maintaining them and keeping them accurate that was the struggle. They shot, they cycled, and they throw a 150gr M80 round down range with some authority.

Of all the .308’s that I have no practical reason to want or own, this is the one I want the most.

Many thanks to Mike Jones for doing a video on this Gamer Gun of all Gamer Guns (Modern Warfare, not 3-Gun).

Keith Finch
Keith is the former Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. He got told there was a mountain of other things that needed doing, so he does those now and writes here when he can. A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. Teaching since 2009, he covers local concealed carry courses, intermediate and advanced rifle courses, handgun, red dot handgun, bullpups, AKs, and home defense courses for civilians, military client requests, and law enforcement client requests.